Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Laowai tai duo

yo i am in Lijiang, which i knew sucked hard balls but now after five years i returned to check it out and lord almighty does it suck. the Chinese tourists here are insecure racists and their desires and idiosyncrasies have rubbed off on a local populace that is struggling not to become rude and greedy. But waves and waves of Sichuanese make it hard to handle ... all within the hallowed confines of a sprawling labyrinthine old city, where scattered nooks whisper to hidden crannies about the good old days.

This place used to be a trekkers haven, with a beautiful old town to fall back on. Now there are gangs of dressed up Naxi clownboys clapping and harassing passers-by with an extreme version of the hard sell. And what are they selling? A KTV room constructed of local wood in the backpacker fashion: knickies and knackies hanging here and there. An old photo of their grandfathers black and white and for sell. Maybe pancakes alongside Sichuan hot pepper beef.

But that aint the kicker: there is a stage in the back with a square dancing half-stepping group of young slaves, facing forty television sets, hooked up to a speaker system with the capacity to blow away a good sized club BUMPING a retro-techno version of some Tibetan-Naxi love song contracted out in the 1980s by the Communists to show the world how much love there is between the Han and the rest of the people that live here. This theme does not change across the entire town. Spectacular wood and stone buildings with ornately carved staircases and attached mini windmills plowing the obediently babbling brook vs. bamboo and stone chalets with ivy and wood roofs for the right to split my ears with horrible, horrible music.

But you know. Perhaps i am just a dirty imperialist with my own notions of what is cool and i should just shut my mouth and watch the handover of Lijiang to the Chinese middle class with the Zen righteousness of the British when they watched the bad ass PLA roll into Hong Kong.

But you know i just can't keep my mouth shut.

There are pockets of cool here. 2416 is a music workshop here, i think it is run by Leland, a pretty famous Chinese musician with all sorts of famous friends. Leland is a very friendly guy, but i can tell he is doing it to offset the visceral hatred his buddies have for foreigners in general. Unless they are French musicians or females attracted to "the Other" in the form of the ultra-cool hip avant garde Chinese artiste. So me being a dirty American who knows too much -- well i am a threat. A barbarian who was schooled at the imperial court by some traitorous, mischievous official with political designs that the barbarian could not possibly fathom.

And as a barbarian i respond jovially: "I puke all over this bullshit."

Because i know where the hatred comes from. Lijiang's beauty and potential as a spot to find Jesus was discovered by Joseph Rock -- a cracker imperialist if there ever was one. And the beauty was recognized and ratified by UNESCO, more white people. And the first people to come here where greasy backpackers like myself and our cool ass Chinese homies -- who by the way all disappear during the heavy tourist season to some place thats ... cool.

So for all those Wang-come-latelys, well, they just gotta hate. Cuz me and my tribe spoil the scenery.


"I love it"

Sunday, January 27, 2008

why do i like him

Beacuse he dreams and emotes
Because I can imagine playin ball with him

Because he is one of Us

who is Us?

I consider Us to be those who have sat in cafes
Hatin on Bush
Hatin on wars
Diggin on James Brown
Smokin herb and waxin philosophical
Dreamin of new a energy source

Makin love with all races
and diggin it
Speakin more than one language
cuz its normal
You and me

Saturday, January 26, 2008

chachin aint easy

'lectrofishin with Otis and Maynard

so we are snowed out of the overland routes we were planning on taking: the hike through Tiger Leaping Gorge to the dusty town of Daju and from there to Lugu Lake and on to Muli Gorge and the Daocheng National Park ... would have been nice but alas the snows make it necessary for us to re-strategize.

So i say we head back to Dali Town for another stab at suicide i the dark hallows of the Bad Monkey and a silver smuggling expedition to He Qing village, where i have an accomplice waiting. An 18-year old Bai silversmith with questionable upbringing.

We have had a good few days here in Shaxi, the last surviving market town on the old Horse and Tea Trade Route. First thing we did was hike up the old salt trade route to Ma Ping Guan (Horse Pasture Pass) a lookout village and tax collecting outpost left unscathed by the ravages of 20th century China. The path is red dust and stunted pine trees with deep ruts for the horses and raised mud walls for the men and women. There are a few places where smooth stone slabs have been tossed and turned by time. They were originally laid down by caravan drivers who hoped to keep the path alive even in the rainy season. Its about 15km to the village and we were quite pleased to arrive after 4 and one half hours. We arrived and were immediately escorted to chief Ren Da's house where he gave us tea and sweet rice ball soup with poached eggs and sugar. drool drool.

We walked down the path to the bridge -- the spot where caravans and local villagers threw down and eventually agreed on a tax for the goods they were carrying. Friday marked the completion of the renovation of the bridge and in this staunchly traditional village this means incense, chanting, cymbals and drums, big huge lunches, firecrackers and appearances by local bigwigs. We admired the tung and groove technique of bridge building "There are no nails here in the main support structure as far as i can see" said Sammy the Grubby Handed. "Don't quote me I'm drunk."

Anyway we went to watch the women prepare for the ceremony with dance and cooking. The chief's daughter in law was a skinny cute little pistol all energetic, darting here and there and screwing up her little freckled face. Me and Sammy were in love. Her husband, the chief's second son, is a super chilled out little dude with a white Yankees snowcap and Grade A Man Skills. They danced and told jokes and we were the hit of the party. The little girls squirmed and twisted their hands in front of their faces, stuck out their tongues and made wide eyes at us and then their mothers ... the older girls giggled and asked how old we were, the older women introduced their daughters. it was all good.

The next day the ceremony was almost canceled by a freak all-night snowstorm. But after a few tense hours the officials said they were coming and soon thereafter the women scuttled up to the Temple of Guanyin, Provider of Sons and Confucius Guardian of Filial Piety and Social Order to burn that incense, raise those chants and get them fires a'burnin. The men cut cedar boughs, wrote out the worklists in red ink with paintbrushes and chopped wood, carried stuff and smoked around the bridge, inspecting the joints and warming their hands.

Around three pm the officials showed up and all the men had a powwow in the schoolhouse while the girls donned their headdresses and put on masks of composure that kept slipping. Finally the cry went out and the whole village followed two young boys down from the temple, around the bend to the far side of the bridge. There was a furious banging and firecrackers were exploding everywhere, women sang nasal tunes and the eldest man shouted out blessings in an almost faltering hoarse tenor. The two youngins had a cauldron of smoking cedar betwixt them and two be-costumed bearded fierce looking fellows played the part of tax collector. Everybody marched past, a band of saggy old teetering men banging cymbals and drums, and placed a few pennies into the tax collectors pouch. After three crossings, the ceremony was over and everybody retreated back to the temple and the schoolhouse to have another powwow and prepare lunch.

Here the villagers took their chance to let out grievances in front of the chief and the officials and we almost asphyxiated in the small room as one villager yelled till he was red about timber prices, contracts and labor cost.

We ate good. Beef and lamb and pork and taters and cabbage and a lovely sauce and 'shrooms and all the good stuff. Fat and stankin', we hit the road back across the mtn pass to Shaxi 'fore the snows and rains made our stay at Ma Ping Guan a semi-permanent one. Lord knows we would have had a few accidental conceptions had we stayed.

We marched back along a muddy red path with the officials and one horse. Sammy only has a pair of Keen sandals -- perfect for everything but muddy mtn hiking. So i got a few laughs out of that. I raced the local villagers down the mountain and they were quite impressed. I have always been good at running down mountains. The instant eye foot communication is something i enjoy so much. It is truly a moment by moment life when running down a mountain and each step gives you a chance to improvise, look ahead to plan the next step, look down to find the best step, step, slip and catch, look up, jump and run, find that step, improvise, look ahead to plan the next step ....

we arrived at the bottom of the mountain just as night fell. We staggered back to the place we are living, took cold showers, laughed and went to sleep. More later.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Dali Town

it always hard for me to escape the monkey in this town. cuz i don't try hard. the other night we were dancin to irish music, fully lickered up throwin each other and girls all around the bar -- twirlin people and flippin each other and such. i received a massive bruise on my thigh, it is now purple and greenish. Joe the barkeep almost broke my neck. i found 2000RMB on the floor and put it in my pocket, there were only five or six of us in the bar at that point, though the din hinted at a gathering of much larger proportions.

a few of the monkey demons, past and present ....

the next day sammy and i woke early, as is our custom after an all night session of drinkin, and strolled down the couple of clicks to Cai Village, where all the mint in Yunnan is grown, to the shores of Erhai Lake. We walked with a strong wind at our backs, bending the mint and urging us forward. The mountains behind us were shrouded in sunlight, the lake was visible as a shimmering mirage of blue. a woman walked past is with two sloshing buckets of nightsoil for the fields. sammy and i shared a "hey thats shit" look and chuckled. about 100 meters later, the wind tickled our noses with pure human feces. she was far behind us heading toward the mtns, smiling to herself as the wind ripped the shit from her buckets and stretched it back a few hundred meters for us to investigate.

when we made it through the winding paths of Cai Village to the lakeshore, there was no beach. we laid down on someone's porch and basked in the sun and the wind with the sound of lazy waves lapping the gnarled lake water trees.

the 2000RMB belongs to JP, a Quebecois roving bluegrass singer with a bandolier of twelve different harmonicas ... you wanna know who brought the devil to Dali town? he's the johnny-be-good of Dali this time around. havin him around released me from the pull of the devil. as long as he conjured up all of the djinns, then the rest of us could just whirl ourselves into oblivion, whooping all the way down ... JP's guitar a eulogy for our worries.

tomorrow we go to Shaxi Village where i will be checking out restoration projects, salt mines, silvermiths and old trade route outposts. For now, its back to the monkey, where scottie and carl wait with a merciless grin, plotting the next Mad One.

Friday, January 18, 2008


maybe its just because i stood next to him once at paisley park .. maybe its cuz i rocked it so many times at his club first ave .. maybe its just cuz he's a pimp of the highest most spectacular order. even that 1990s shit diamonds and pearls was cool. i got this dvd of all of prince's videos. oh lord controversy is hilarious ... he was always with the times -- whatever the zeitgeist was, prince dove in heels first and dropped it. givin the camera the EYE and givin all them ladies soakin panties.

and when doves cry is one the finest love tunes ever. he truly knew how to put a man's passion out into the soundwaves and show women what is up. he was the master of the sensitive man's impassioned plea. and you know his body temperature rises to lord knows what when he gets naked with his woman. maybe thats why everybody thought he went both ways ... when all it was was his ability to drop his love down in a vulnerable way. when his voice went high, men were like .. damn that fool is a batty boy and women were like .. ooooooooo ... when his voice dropped low men were like .... damn that fool is a superpimp and women were like ... ooooooooo ...

"don't make me chase ya, even doves have pride ..."

me and sammy at the speakeasy last night

We are having our customary American Coffees at Salvador's this morning. Sal's is one of the finer cafes i have ever experienced in China. The food is great, the prices are low, the place is owned by a few gringos from kansas and colorado and run by an army of western yunnan munchkins, under the close supervision of Ping Di -- King Diesel -- a four foot little yunnan girl with a squeaky voice and absolute authority.

It is time for us to go. we are headed to Dali in the afternoon where we will meet with the owners of the Bad Monkey and other assorted devils and thieves. Before i forget, let me give you a rundown of Sammy's "disappearance" which began with whiskey and tramidol, continued into the halfway house and raged out into the streets in front of the speakeasy. The rest is legend.

"The Disappearance" according to Sammy:

"Super Cool in Kunming. This guest's opinion is what the fuck. not sure what happened last night. Thought we were supposed to get drunk. I did then got "lost" but i met a nice woman who helped me find my way here and upon arriving got cockblocked by the night reception whore who scared her away and then wouldn't let me into our vacant fuckin room because i'm not fuckin michael even though i told the cunt that i paid for the bullshit. So i had to rent 103 or sleep in the street which i tried but it sucked. i dont speak chinese."

I woke up in the morning and saw that sammy had disappeard. I spent the day wandering the streets around our hotel and chillin at Sals thinking he could find his way back. I eventually headed back to our hotel and was gonna take a shower when i found the above note stuck under the door of our room, 304. i ran down and knocked on 103, sammy jumped out, we embraced and it was all good. turns out i was in a drunken coma whilst he was banging on the door at 2am with a sceptical receptionist in tow. its not my fault.

Yesterday we spent lunch with Mr. Huang. He is my friend Huang Jun's father. Huang Jun is one of my oldest and best homeboys here in China. Recently, i introduced him to a sweet little Thai girl who was coming up to kunming to study. they fell in love and now Huizzle is down in bangkok with her. He is our man in Bangkok. Me and Sammy told stories of northern Minnesota and we all toasted to Huizzle. Mr Huang pulled out a doctoral thesis he wrote for his son, because his son has no time to do it as work is getting him down. I said Huizzle was a punk for allowing his father to write up this thesis, but i was deeply touched. His mother then asked if Sammy could carry a couple bags of love to Bangkok with him and give them to Huiz ... of course Sammy said yes.

i had a dream that i got off the subway in NYC and a chubby black man was telling me about the judo he was studying -- i didn't believe him right away, but he pulled some moves and told a story of thugs trying to take his shit and when he pulled those moves they backed off, made a phone call for reinforcements. They told their homies on the phone:

"Man, we gotta a Cain muthafucka all up in here, all like My Way is Your Darkest Fear ... "

I woke up then because i knew I should remember that line.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

The devil came down to Clifden ...

“The devil came down to Clifden, lookin for a soul to steal, he was getting kinda low and don’t ya know he was willing to make a deal …”

Johnny went through Clifden one day and listened to the Irishmen play, they hit their fiddles with a mighty cry and sang to the darkening sky. They brought tears to the old men and made the women flush, their voices held the longing of a race and the sighs of a million souls. The hills turned green as they strummed and drummed and the rain came down soft and light, the island misted over and the castles rang out, this is what Johnny saw …

He played them Red House, like they’d never heard before, he bent the guitar and stretched the sound and it was clear that he was throwin it down. Next he played Alligator Wine and that’s when he went to far, his good eyes shone like the slave in the song and his bad eye grew cold and hard. His face went pale and he started to sweat and he felt himself swoon and moan, that’s when he turned to the fiddlers in the band and this is what he said:

“Hey there fiddlers I’ma need yer help”
“At your service young man”
“I got the devil in me now and he’s got to go, can you play a Charley Daniels song”
“You mean the one with fiddles and the band o’ demons, lad?”
“Yep, that’d be the one.”
“You can count on us, boy, just turn to the crowd and let them carry you along …”

When it was all over Johnny was smiling again, the women came up and washed his brow and the young boys gathered around.

“Is it true what they say about the crossroads,” said one
“What is it they say,” said Johnny
“That you can sell your soul to the devil and learn to play like you …”

Johnny didn’t say nothing and just looked at the boy, his cheeks were red and his eyes were blue and he would have made a deal right then.

A mother came up and looked up at Johnny, askin when does the devil come

“Whenever I touch the guitar, good woman, whenever I sing a song. But the devil was an angel first, ya know, I’m just playing along.”

Monday, January 14, 2008

mountain pics

well ... here they are. pretty white boxes for you to click on. i guess they will take you to the pics on my worthless picasa album. if anyone has a clue why this is, holla.

my tummy hurts

Friends and enemies alike, i wait with bated breath for the outcome of my latest missive. A plea have i tossed, into the ring, for the sages -- appointed by whom? -- to peer down upon, through their thick bifocals and to Judge! Shall i be anointed Worthy? Has the Universe listened to the arguments presented by my patron goddess, Providence, the lover of fools and bards, and found that Yes! this fool Sascha of whom you speak in such adoring tones is deserving -- although we know, friends, deserve ain't got nothin to do with it -- and as such, proclaimed:
"Indeed, I will deliver a mighty Bonk! upon his head and reality shall swoon around him and fall clutching at his tattered jeans. Where he treads, white flowers shall rush up out of the murky dark and sing to his passing heels! Where his gaze falls, the green moss shall multiply and wriggle itself ever larger and thicker upon the limbs of glowing trees! Whatsoever he touches, shall be living, breathing pulsing with the love that surges through the stars and Midas will consider himself a wee babe, for his touch brings a meek shine, a luster with no heartbeat."

Pray for me friends, in these hours, as this fool waits and sighs. For Providence is a woman.

and although Cito fit, quod di volunt.

yet also Varium et mutabile semper femina

grumble grumble

well i have tried to put pics up here for days now. i went through picasa and checked out what the deal is -- heard that sideways pics is a problem that many of us have. but picasa won't load the damn pics up so i am just gonna have text now.

i am in kunming and every time i come here i wonder why i am living in chengdu. as soon as you hit the tarmac the sun hits you, an easy breeze says, "hey, welcome man" and the temperature adjusts to your liking.

there are many more foreigners here than i realized and they seem cooler. chiller. more literate. and i am at a cafe that would fit in anywhere on the west coast, with honey mustard salads, digestive teas, cute lil chinese girls and will and lester -- two local english teachers discussing the weighty issues in life and takin it real real easy.

sammy shows up in two days and we will hit up the An Ling hot springs, deep in the forests, then we'll have some stewed sweet broasted chicken. its gonna be hot.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

river lake people

i have been trying to put a few pictures of my trip into the mountains online but they always end up sideways. i will be consulting my computer geek homeboys soon. i was able to sleep at my home a good two nights before i packed my bags for another move, this time south to the mountains of Yunnan. i will meet my man Sammy B there and we will do the run from Kunming up through the Naxi and Bai areas of northern Yunnan to the Yi and Tibetan areas of southern Sichuan. I hope to roll through Muli Gorge and re-visit Lugu Lake. I have friends and unfinished business there. the trip should end in Hanyuan, where i will spend spring festival with my gong fu family. my master looks to have landed the job i set up for him in Beijing with a security firm. It will be a proud and relieving moment for me and my master when he does get the job. he will be making the kind of money he needs and this job will inevitably lead to other great opportunities.

in Jiu Zhai Gou i met a man whose wife is from my hometown in Germany (frankfurt) and she is the head of the ZDF tv station here. That station does long documentary spots and such for the people back home. I pitched the story of my gong fu family to them -- the 100 year old yi jing masters, the grandmaster and his struggles during the cultural revolution, my master and his modern day struggles in a society with little need for true gong fu men and his eventual redemption in the Olympics. I think they are going to do it. if so, my family in germany will trip. they will get to see it. cross your fingers for me ya'll. the text version of this story -- or a small part of it, will be running in guernica later this month. will holler when it does.

now i suppose i should let you know what a river lake person is. he has a bag slung across his shoulder. he has herbs in one pocket and charms in the other. he wanders with no thought of whether or not he will arrive, or indeed where he will arrive at. he can take care of himself anywhere, anytime. in his bag is a change of clothes and most likely a book or three. he has a woman or several, but they are far away and with others. he only knows what its like to love them when he passes through. it might be like this forever and he knows it. a true river lake person knows gong fu, in china. but my entire tribe is made up of hunters and gatherers, jewel dealers and vagabonds, pirates and hobos. i am a proud member of a river lake tribe that spans the globe, undying. women can also be river lake people, but in my experience, they would rather make us into earth and wood.

"flower man loves earth girl"

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

in the mountains

don' worry i will add pics in a bit.

i arrived from amsterdam sunday afternoon and went to my man tenzin's house and eased back with him and his woman aliya. i booked a flight the next day for jiu zhai gou, as there was an ecotourism forum going on and my friend andrew is in charge of some scientific and other consulting. including bringing foreigners to any forum that may be organized. about ten of us arrived. the flight from chengdu to jiu zhai gou is one of the hairiest flights i know of. jiu zhai gou is in the sichuan himalayas, the plane hovers 100 or so meters above jagged peaks and is jolted by the winds careening off off valleys. the sky is absolutely clear, so you can see imminent death as it reaches up for you. the turbulence is amazing. our flight was the only one that was able to land on monday, six other flights returned to chengdu to wait for the winds to subside.

the forum itself was a joke, as these things tend to be. its the informal back hallway sessions that truly hold meaning for the development of sustainable ecotourism here. we went on several hikes and i am about to go on one now.

one note: miss russia was in attendance. a beautiful brunette with cold russian features warmed only by her eyes, the only thing about her that cannot be painted or covered in perfume. the first morning, her minders knocked a thousand times on her door, pounding and calling her name -- elena -- until she finally rose and told them to go away. she had arrived at 4am after taking a bus. her flight was delayed indefinitely. i saw her several times, including at the opening ceremonies in front of an ice waterfall. as with many such beautiful women, followed by cameras and attendants, her face held a firm closed off smile. while her eyes searched anxiously and almost desperately for a someone to talk to. whenever i saw her walking down the hall, trailing perfume and scuttling underlings, i smiled and said hello as warmly and as nonchalantly as possible. i wanted her to know that she was a person first, gorgeous sex symbol distant second. she appreciated it. it was an amazing piece of acting on my part. i am after all a man and russian beauty is extremely difficult to ignore. when she left, i took a picture with her and she took my email address and told me she would send it. we shall see.

mountains can only be fathomed when you hike them.

Monday, January 7, 2008


last night i spent most of my time dreaming i was a stand up comedian. the audience was overwhelmingly black and i was in georgia. towards the end of the show i started overheating and sweating and i grabbed a hand drum and started playing, i then started freestyler preach-singing ... i think i also told them a story of how i recited the i have a dream speech for my chinese students back in 2000. the song kind of took hold of me, i was talking about a woman that i know, and all of a sudden i was in a trance and singing like i had never sung before and all i could see was red earth everywhere. i ended the song with a line from c-loo .. "there is no me if there is no you .." the crowd was touched by the presence of god and i had a vision of mlk's last sermon, where he preached the devil out of himself and collapsed.
i then switched to a dream of barack obama .. he was in chengdu on a tour and i had organized a basketball game .. his crew vs. mine and i walked up to him and shook his hand and said you are the leader of the free world, but i am going to take you to the hole. he smiled and said something like thank you for organizing this and making it all possible.. then he looked me in the eye and said low enough for his crew and me to hear i am gonna drop one in your eye. throughout all these dreams a cold voice told me i shouldn't be dreaming these things cuz i am a white boy and will never understand.

but i tell you what, i believe black people are the instrument for humanity's renewal ... suppression of soul is a human condition, manifesting in reality as the black rose, thrown down upon concrete america and ordered to grow. i had another dream, one that started after i woke up and went back to sleep. this one i took dmt and tripped out and followed the light till all became dark and a voice said do you want to go back, because i did. i was really scared in the dream and felt that i could not leave my people like that. could not go out on a drug overdose. so i said yes i still have work to do, cuz i figured that would be the right thing to say. and when i came back i woke up and around me where fairies and little people, the adults maybe as big as a hamster and the children tiny like bees. they were so cute and i laughed and laughed and they were so worried about me and had gathered around. also around me were three friends. they asked me who i was looking at and i told one of the fairies to go say hi to zhuang and she did, becoming a butterfly on his cheek. i asked him hey man do you feel that and he smiled and said in english, yeah i feel it. my other friend was covered in tiny little people all scrambling over him and hanging off of him. they appeared tro him as flies, that he swatted. i said man you are covered in them dude. the third friend, a girl, changed the entire dream, she turned the whole hillside we were sitting on into a butterfly convention and the dream kind of spiraled out of control with huge butterflies and fairy women with bug eyes hovering everywhere and one of them clawed out my left eye.

i am that i am

reading foucalt's pendulum has been a three month odyssey through umberto eco's dream library. i finally fell into the pace of the book, now, near the end. and everywhere i see lorenza, belbo -- i am belbo, no i am aglie ... the man with the scar was on my flight to chengdu. he chatted freely with belbo while lorenza smiled brilliantly. in heidelberg, i read of princess lizzie, and her love of butterflies and cherries. her husband, frederick the v, elector palatine, who started the thirty years war with a defiant run up white mtn. i looked down at the gardens that reflect the subterranean truth, conducting the starlight down to pools below. then while the lights went out on the flight back home, eco tells me who sculpted those gardens and why. in amsterdam, i remember, fleetingly, latin inscriptions on a doorway. the greater quest for christ. as they served breakfast, i reached the pages in foucalt's, dealing with struggles of the english, french and german arms of the templars. and the inscription jumped from the bricks of dutch buildings to the pages below me. i almost choked on my pudding. KLM food is the bomb. and the design is so apple. eco, as he admonishes admires and consoles the cowardly scholar during his one final attempt to seize the moment, speaks through Lia, the mother, of the threads that link us all, the umbilicus, the grail. i read the chapter and stood to look back several rows, where my belbo seethed, lorenzas multiplied, lias cooed to their children and i wrestled with a vision of myself as casaubon the addict, aglie the pretender. i shook my head as, once again, a book has found me just in the nick of time.

Friday, January 4, 2008


yeah i be trippin. but here with my bro in adam its all good. we toured the city and its beautiful, even the ancient hos flicking their thick swollen tongues at us from behind clean windows. red halos. the morrocans, adjusting their sneer to our knowing gaze. the dutch, happy to chat and interested. last time i was here, two dutch beauties rode by on a bike and yelled at me: fucking tourist! now i notice them peepin me. makes a brother smile to himslef. the tall skinny hosues leaning against each other, cannabis, funky and green, floating in the air like hazy pollen. i can only use cliches. they are cliches for a reason. we all know what they mean. it took all afternoon and several strolls and a good healthy mixture of cold heineken and frothy coffee to get me to breathe peacefully again.

when a man is not in control, he gets frustrated and angry. when his efforts seem to twist into strange unrecognizable shapes, a man gets depressed and questions meaning. rejects the power of will. a good stroll and jokes can help relieve all of this. beer helps. a girl, throwing a nervous look of interest. all these make a man remember the buddha palm. adam is a buddha palm, holding the putrid blooming flower of life.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

to A'Dam

In four hours, my plane leaves for Amsterdam. actually six hours, but i have an hour long train ride ahead of me. i just got off the phone with a woman. i'm tellin ya. if anything can spin yer dome around, its a woman. i am not sure if she is humoring me or subtly hinting that i should up and lock her down. its hard work, deciphering and such.

so. to lighten the load my brain has to carry around, i will decompress in Adam, city of canals and cafes, and prepare for my return to china. three weeks with my family has also been very emotional. my brother and i had yet another seminal night of crying and yelling in the Wiesloch slaughterhouse. our bond grows ever stronger. my sister and i have traded silly barbs, sagely advice and evil eyes. my mom and i loved and hated each other. and me and my dad stayed out of each others' way. as for the other family members, my great aunt and uncle are really a pleasure to hang around. they are close enough to love me unconditionally, far enough away to not meddle in my affairs. its perfect.

so off to Adam. where i will be spending the weekend with Alexandra Wiercowic (sp) a beautiful polish princess. when i was 16, i went with her cousin and my best friend, Filip Pawelka, to their hometown of Slupsk in northern Poland. She was maybe 10, and she would follow us around through the ghetto projects, staring up at us and blushing and laughing. she was gangly, but it was clear to all how gorgeous she was going to be. anyway, it has been a long standing joke between the Pawelkas and me that Ola, as she is affectionately known, had a massive crush on me. its easy to understand, considering how damn charming my ass can be. and now i visit the fully grown, fully operational Ola in Amsterdam. She has a man, so all you lecherous bastards and romantic fools can sigh in disgust.

and i dont smoke no more either. i will probably go to the van gogh museum, and see what Ola has to say about domespinning fox devils and girlhood crushes.

Gettin Fat in Deutschland

Every morning i enjoy myself ritually with the bread slicer. I love the buzz and smell of good bread being prepared for my rumblin gullet. then i sift through the fridge. Lord, Bless my Mother with Peace of Mind and a Calm Heart! She maintains a fine kitchen. Teewurst, Leberwurst, Salami, Kaes' and so on. Coffee is always warm and waitin. She hovers and makes sure all the libations of the morning are done properly, eagerly prodding me on to stuff down more, more and even more of this delicious love. For soon, before I even know it, I shall be back in a treacherous land of heathens and barbarous chieftains. Where bread can be pressed between forefinger and thumb and good wurst appears only once a year.

Lord Have Mercy. Christ Have Mercy.